Embryology of some flowers of the Gardenieae complex

Different breeding systems occur in the Gardenieae complex (Rubiaceae), from homoecy to dioecy which is present in two tribes, Gardenieae and Cordiereae. As part of a broad project focused on the reproductive anatomy of the species of these two tribes, this research describes the structural and functional differences of the gynoecium in the different floral morphs and determined the degree of gynoecium development in the staminate flowers.

The research team conducted a comparative anatomical study focused on the gynoecium of one homoecious species (Tocoyena formosa, with perfect flowers) and three dioecious species (Genipa americana, Randia calycina, and Randia heteromera) of Gardenieae and one dioecious species (Cordiera concolor) of Cordiereae. The dioecious species have flowers that are morphologically perfect and functionally unisexual. Flowers in successive stages of development were collected, photographed, and fixed in formalin-acetic acid-alcohol.

The material was examined using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The anatomy of the ovary, style, and stigma was analyzed, and megasporogenesis and megagametogenesis were studied. The results achieved in this study, together with previously obtained data of the androecium, show that dioecy originated from homoecy in these species, since the unisexual flowers conserve some characteristics of the perfect flowers. In addition, a new type of ovule for the Rubiaceae family is described.

Read the complete article at www.researchgate.net.

Judkevich, Marina & Salas, Roberto & Gonzalez, Ana. (2022). Embryology of some flowers of the Gardenieae complex (Rubiaceae). Protoplasma. 1-22. 10.1007/s00709-022-01734-5. 

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